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Thursday, August 21, 2003

ABOUT THE SUICIDE BOMBING

I must make a comment on the suicide bombing. Do you want to know what I really think? I feel as though I have alienated myself from the general public by stating my opinion but this is afterall my blog and I haven't forced anyone to read it so here it goes.

First of all, I can't tell you how sad and depressed I got when I heard about the bombing. I mean, these were people coming home from praying. Big, religious families with lots of children. The children were among those that were killed and injured. Imagine being 5 years old and going through that kind of trauma and if you are lucky you survive but are missing a leg and are forever mentally scarred with the images of the whole event. But that is not what I came to say. What I wanted to say is this. Enough. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and all the other terrorist organizations say one thing and do another. They had the nerve to say that they were still considering this period to be a ceasefire even after they blew up the bus! We aren't idiots. So here is what I think should happen now: build the wall. Build it. Close the borders and be done with it. We wouldn't be the first people to do it and for fuck's sake our people are being murdered! Build the wall. In fact, if asked for financial support for this cause, I will be there giving what I can. BUILD THE WALL and don't let them into Israel until the terrorist groups have been eradicated.
SALZBURG

I just wanted to say that I made it safely to the Hostel in Salzburg. My first hostel experience. Hopefully it will be a good one. Anyway, the train ride was lovely going through Hungary and then Austria of course. The countryside is beautiful, green, hilly and lots of towns. Some of the towns have very beautiful and big homes. OK, I realize I promised to update more but I am being timed and watched right now so I will have to save it all for when I have more time.

Sorry! Just wanted to let you all know I am here safely and it appears to be pretty decent. We shall see how the showering experience goes...

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

BUDAPEST CONTINUED

I am afraid that I am in love. Budapest is so wonderful. The Danube, the architecture, the people... where do I begin? No time right now to get into the details of what I have been up to...sorry...but just know that I am having a great time. I promise to write much more when I can. Quick briefing

Art-Music-Dance festival last night. I saw some awesome dancing and music and was able to see all of Budapest at night from the Castle district. It was breathtaking to say the least. The air was warm but a nice breeze cooled it down. Lots of Hungarians were there with their adorable children.

Yesterday, during the day we walked down Vaci Street which is shopping central. I did not buy much but it was a lot of fun to look around.

Today is some national holiday here so there was a major festival all over the city. It was awesome and I promise I will talk more about it next time I blog. Tomorrow I am off to Salzburg.

Monday, August 18, 2003

BUDAPEST!

So much has happened since my last posting. I am now in Budapest about to go on a bus tour. Call me lazy for taking a bus tour but this city is huge! Plus it only costs 12 dollars for 3 hours with "live english" so I thought that was a great deal. Anyway, let me tell you about what I have been up to. In the last posting I told you I was on my way to Kutna Hora. The train costs 3 dollars for a round trip which is nothing considering it is about 65 km east of Prague. We met two California boys that were also on the train. Turns out they are from LA but both went to UCSB (and Jewish). Anyway, we had no idea what to do when we got to Kutna Hora so the four of us just started walking. We ended up at a bone church. In it there were mounds of human bones that some guy had stacked for some reason. Also, the whole church was decorated with skulls and other bones. There was a chandelier made up of just bones and all different kinds, jaws, hips, skulls, etc... Very freaky. The four of us then walked around in the older part of the city which was soo cute. Very European. It seems like one of those places that if you need to escape from the world for a while, it would be an ideal location. We found a cute little restaurant and ate some good food and of course drank 1/2 a liter of Pilzner beer each. That is more than enough to get Julia drunk and my head was spinning as well. When we were done, we realized we had about 1/2 an hour to get our butts back to the train before it took off and left us there. We were also about 4 or 5 km away from it. When we saw time was getting tight we hauled ass! I mean, we started running. It was quite a sight. Drunk Julia in the back and me with my backpack trying to keep up with these two boys who could really run! One of them took my pack from me so that I could run faster. It was hilarious. Anyway, we made it to the station just as the trained pulled in and made it on! We were very lucky. When we got back to Prague, we went to our hotel to pick up our bags and returned to the trainstation to get on the night train to Budapest.

The nighttrain was actually pretty neat. We were in a cabin with one newly wed couple from Canada and another girl about our age and her mother (they were from Hawaii). Anyway, for about an hour we sat and shared travelling stories. The girl had experienced so many interesting things! She went with some friends around Africa for about a month in a Jeep without a guide! Amazing...When we decided to go to sleep, we pulled down the beds and were even given sheets and pillows (I was not expecting that). The train ride was actually kind of soothing and peaceful until we went through Slovakia and the Passport checks began. Imagine being waken up like 7 times in a span of 3 hours to some asshole asking for your passport. Oh and then having the Hungarian conductor telling him you owe him money. He asked us if we spoke German which Julia does and then proceeded to explain the problem in Hungarian. What a useless asshole. Anyway, we solved the problem and tried to go back to sleep but of course someone else came and woke us up to try and sell us hotel accomodations. Argh... I heard somewhere that you can kill someone by waking them up repeatedly while they are in REM. Thankfully, I don't think I made it to REM that many times that night.

When we arrived to Budapest, we had no idea where our hotel was. It wasn't on our map. I just want to take a moment and say that so far, the Hungarians are way more friendly and approachable than the Czech. We headed to the tourist office where the lady told us exactly what we had to do to get to the street we wanted. So we followed her advice and ended up somewhere in the suburbs of Obuda (which is a district of Budapest). We didn't have a map of the area we were in so we weren't sure exactly what to do. There is a public bath or pool thingy which just happened to have a tourist information counter. The lady was so helpful and we were on our way to the street. We walked about 1.5 km to the hotel. I have never been so happy to see a Best Western before. It is a nice one too. The ladies at the front were extremely helpful and friendly and even though it was only ten in the morning they let us check in to our room. I took the longest shower in my life and boy did it feel good. After showering and resting, Julia and I headed back out. We went to the Castle district and walked around. It was about 3 in the afternoon when we got there. The air was warm, but breezy and we just wandered around enjoying the European feel to the area. We are lucky because this week there is a art festival in that area so there were lots of little booths selling all kinds of stuff set up. The castle district is right on the Danube so there were some spectacular views. We could see the parliament building which is a rather impressive building and you will all get to see several pictures of it.

Anyway, that about covers most of what we did. Next time I write I will continue from that evening to whatever happens up till I can write again. :) Miss you guys a lot.

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